2020 Mazda CX-3 review

this is the Mazda cx-3 possibly one of the best looking small SUVs on sale and it’s one that you can buy right now with more than a thousand pounds off of its list price from Whatcom so click on the

link in our description or on the pop-out banner somewhere at the top of the screen there to find out more so the cx-3 is the smallest SUV that master makes that means in the lineup you’ve got the cx-3 at the bottom you’ve

got above that the very confusingly named cx30 and then above them you have the cx-5 at the top of masters SUV lineup the cx-3 is actually based on the Mazda 2 hatchback but it’s been jacked up a little bit and obviously styled to look

a bit different to turn it into this small SUV now being a small SUV means that it has absolutely loads of rivals and among them you’ve got cars like the Volkswagen t cross say our owner

Citroen c3 Eric Ross Skoda Comique ketonic and there’s probably dozens that are about to be released by other manufacturers as well because it’s a really popular part of the market now

the cx-3 was first launched in 2015 and it was a big sales hit so when facelift time came around in 2018 Massa didn’t really see that it had to do too much

with it so for the facelift really the only thing that changed was a slightly different front grille now Mazda has just released this very fancy pants range topping limited edition GT sport

nav Plus model and only 500 units are going to be made and the way they stand out on the exterior is this bit of silver trim on the front and rear bumpers and you also get a silver finish

on the door mirrors but with only 500 being made it’s unlikely you’ll be buying this exact model so don’t worry we’ll be talking about the entire cx3

lineup starting with the inside no matter what trim you go for you get a nice smartly designed interior in the cx-3 so to look at its a bit more exciting

than the proficient but bland alternatives in the Volkswagen T cross and the Sailor owner and also the mix of materials used on the dash is really nice as well especially in this

range-topping model that we’ve got here the materials do feel pretty plush and nice all-round and in the t crossing the aronia and rivals like that they

typically have a few harder plastics on their dashboard that just don’t feel quite nice however we would say that ultimately the T cross and the

aronia are screwed together a little bit better than the cx-3 but there’s not much in it this is still an impressive interior in terms of build quality now

the driving position is very good there’s loads of adjustability in the steering wheel and also in the seats however a word of warning and this might

sound like a bit of a nerdy point but on the lower trim levels you only get a manually adjustable backrest and if you go for that it’s got

a really frustratingly limited number of positions that you can put it in but don’t worry because if you go for the higher spec levels then you get fully

electrically adjustable seats so you can fine-tune your driving position to exactly how you want it even if you do really want to put it this far forward

and sick like that and it’s another good thing in here that these controls all fall easily to hand are in really easy reach from the driver whereas rivals like the Citroen c3 air

cross theyíve got their climate control systems hidden on this fiddly touchscreen that’s just not that easy to use quickly so it’s great that masters

stuck with this similarly this infotainment system is one of the best in the class and let’s explain why you get this 7-inch screen on top of the

dashboard here and at low speeds or when you’re parked up you can use it as a touchscreen however if you go above a certain miles an hour then you can’t use

the touchscreen because master says it’s too distracting which you can’t really argue with them so as an alternative you’ve got this fantastic rotary dial

down here a bit like BMWs iDrive system and this rotary dial lets you cycle through the menus you’ve got some helpful shortcut buttons around it and

really in terms of sheer usability this is one of the best infotainment systems out there plus it’s backed up by decent graphics and it gets loads of features

too like the a/b radio and Bluetooth however one slight negative is the apple carplay and android auto are only able to come in the cx-3 if you fit them from

a dealer after you’ve bought the car so now that other rivals are offering that technology as standard across the lineup it’s a bit of a shame that the cx-3

you’ve got to pay extra for it so now you’ve had a look around inside which do you think has the nicest interior is it the Mazda cx-3 say it Arana Citroen c3

air cross or the Kirsten ik let us know by voting in our poll now the cx-3 isn’t the biggest all SUV on the market but even if you’re a tall driver there’s plenty of room up

front you get a good amount of headroom and if you’re a bit smaller you can even lift the seat up to give you a better view as well as for storage you have

door bins up front which are a bit thin but still big enough for a water bottle and on the center console you’ve got a cubby hole with some storage space here

with some interesting cup holder solutions so you’ve got one cup holder at the front you’ve also got this middle one which you can open out or keep

recessed and you can even take the whole cup holder out fling it somewhere else to give you a bit more space and this storage compartment down here in front

of that you’ve got a little tray here to put a smartphone while it’s charging on one of these USB cables and also a glove box which is a decent size now space in

the back isn’t quite so generous there are three seats back here but you’d only really be able to fit two adults in the back here comfortably

and when I say comfortably maybe that’s stretching the definition of the word a little bit because you can see there really isn’t much head and legroom so

you can’t stretch out and relax in the back here that you you can more so in a captor and in the aronia as well they offer better space for rear passengers but you get isofix mounts on the outer

rear seats and you can also pull this part of the middle seat down to give an armrest to these two rear passengers and they have some more hidden cup holder fun as well now every cx3 gets a height adjustable

boot floor which is great however you can see on this model that when you lift up the top of the height adjustable boot floor there isn’t a great deal amount of storage space underneath it the reason

for that is if you lift this up you can see we’ve got the upgraded Bose sound system on this car and the subwoofer in the back takes up the space where your shopping bags or luggage would probably

be going so this isn’t necessarily the most practical version of the cx-3 to buy however it’s still handy to have this height adjustable boot floor chop this floor to its lowest setting and you

get a deeper space that will take five carry-on sized suitcases and another handy thing is if you do fold down these rear seats back here with the boot floor in its highest setting when they’re

folded you can see there isn’t really an awkward step up from the boot to the rear seats but what is the cx-3 like to buy and run well it isn’t a bargain

paired to its rivals the cx-3 is more expensive to buy especially if you go for those highest spec models however Mazda expects most of its buyers to opt for a monthly pcp finance deal but even

then the cx-3 will cost more each month than its rivals it will be cheaper to service than other alternatives though and it’ll hold on to its value well if you need low co2 emissions and good fuel

economy then obviously the diesel will be the pick of the cx-3 s lineup for you however if you’re a private buyer then we’d point you in the direction of the

petrels but just bear in mind that Mazdas petrels aren’t as efficient as its rivals there are three main trends se now + SEL nav + + sport nav + we’d go for mid spec SEL nav plus which gets

climate control heated seats and rear parking sensors on top of the da B radio cruise control and entertainment you get with se nav + it cost a bit extra to go for it but we reckon it’s worth it Mazda

has a good reliability record and a standard you get a three year 60,000 mile warranty which might not stand out but does match most of its rivals the CX 3 has a decent amount of safety

equipment on offer but it’s a shame it isn’t all standard across the board SEL nav + + sport nav + both get automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning plus there’s a safety

pack option which adds blind spot monitoring rear cross-traffic alert and high-beam assist it’s reasonably priced but only available on top spec models with a petrol engine the CX 3 is

available with three engines now that is two petrol and one diesel the petrels are called skyactiv-g and you have a choice of 119 brake horsepower or 148 brake horsepower we’re in 119 brake

horsepower version and it is definitely the pic of the range naught to 62 miles per hour is done in a respectable rather than rapid 9 seconds dead now while that

is impressive compared to similarly powered rivals in the class the pace on offer in the cx-3 isn’t effortless the reason for that is its rivals are turbocharged but this has the unit is

naturally aspirated and in fact all of the petrol master units are naturally aspirated so what that means is when the revs drop below about 2500 rpm it feels pretty flat and fairly sluggish as well

so if you really want to get the best performance out of this engine it means that you’ve got to keep the revs up keep them high in the range and it does mean

that you’ll have to be fairly regularly shifting through the gears to get the best out of it however such a bad thing because this 6-speed manual gearbox is

really precise and slick it’s definitely among the best that you’ll find in the small SUV class and also the power delivery is very smooth and linear throughout the entire rev range so it is

actually quite a nice engine to rev out all the way to the redline the 148 brake horsepower engine is only available with 4-wheel Drive and so it’s much more

expensive than this engine with two-wheel drive and because it’s heavier it isn’t actually that much quicker the diesel is called skyactiv-d and it’s a

1.8 liter engine with 114 brake horsepower which needs to be worked quite hard and only gives its best from higher revs which is uncharacteristic

for a diesel the cx-3 is firmer riding than rivals like the c3 air cross which is much softer but the upshot of that is that it feels

well tied down and it’s composed over undulating roads plus if you go over potholes or sharp imperfections like expansion joints then it manages to go

over it without too much crashing and bashing so it’s pretty good although and aronia is a more comfortable car the upshot of that firmer suspension in the

cx-3 though is that when you go around the corner body roll is kept to a minimum but it’s just a shame that this steering isn’t a bit better at higher

speeds so it’s fine around town where it’s nice and light so going into a parking space for doing a three-point turn is really easy but when you’re

going a bit quicker it’s not quite so good around the straight ahead it feels a bit sticky so what I mean by that is when you’ve wined some luck on an aronia

it will come back to the middle pretty definitively it gives the steering a nice kind of fluid feel to it but in the cx-3 it doesn’t do it quite so slickly

so that’s why it just feels a bit kind of sticky and not quite so accurate but really something that is going to frustrate you if you’re absolutely

holding it around some be roads and threading some difficult corners together so on the motorway or just around town gonna be such an issue but

ultimately to drive quickly aqui estan ik and the Sailor owner are more satisfied plus if you want a relaxing cruiser then cx-3 doesn’t really fit the

bill either the engines are pretty noisy and at high speed there’s a fair bit of wind road and suspension noise to contend with enough to get annoying

during long journeys over coarse roads so the cx-3 looks good is well-equipped has a great infotainment system and a composed ride but its engine lineup

feels a bit off the pace compared to its turbocharged rivals both in terms and emissions space

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